Celebrating Michigan MAEIA Partners

By Barb Whitney

Our MAEIA team is grateful to have relationships with talented and skilled partners advancing creativity in education across Michigan. MAEIA partners are a coalition of organizations committed to supporting high-quality arts education at the local, state, regional, and national levels alongside forward-thinking arts ambassadors promoting innovation in arts education.  

We support improved professional practice and demonstrated teacher effectiveness in the arts, authentic assessment of student performance, high-quality K-12 arts education programs, and advancing arts as a core element of public instruction. 

 Recognizing Arts Education Champions 

Here are a few updates from Michigan MAEIA Partners we’re celebrating this spring:  


Michigan Art Education Association  

Celebrating increasing membership and upcoming conference: Oct. 26 – 29 convening in Ann Arbor at The Kensington Hotel. Theme: “Cultivating Community.” Special thanks to Jane Montero.  

Michigan Arts and Culture Council  

Celebrating recent grant application cycles for: community partners, as well as bus and supply grant applications with simplified applications for schools and educators. Recognizing the Poetry Out Loud partnership and the fourth year of the Rising Leaders professional development program. Special thanks to Chad Swan-Badgero. 

 Michigan School Vocal Music Association 

Celebrating a full return to all festivals and steady increase in conference attendance over the past two years. Special thanks to Erik Jacobson.  

Michigan Music Education Association  

Celebrating robust offerings for online teacher professional development. Planning for reinstatement of student events: 1) Young Composers of MI premier concert at the Michigan Music Conference, and 2) Instrumental Workshops to be held this spring. Special thanks to Shannan L. Hibbard, Ph.D. 

Detroit Excellence in Youth Arts 

Celebrating Detroit Youth Artists! DEYA is working with JFM Consulting Group to conduct focus groups with Detroit youth artists to hear directly from them what their sector needs and what barriers they and their peers face in pursuing their passion. Special thanks to Rick Sperling and Nafeesah Symonette. 

 Michigan Education Association 

Celebrating great professional learning collaborations and cross-organizational contributions. MAEIA was pleased to have MEA present to arts groups on the topic, Encouraging Agency through Bargaining. Special thanks to Chad Williams.  

Michigan Dance Council  

Celebrating their upcoming statewide event: Michigan Youth Dance Festival 2023, hosted by University of Michigan Dance Department on May 6, 2023. Special thanks to Clara Martinez.  


Additional Michigan partners include Adam DesJardins of Culture Source and Paul Liabenow of MEMSPA 

 As I review the above list, I marvel at how meaningfully our partners benefit the collective creativity of children in Michigan. They support educators, schools, and ultimately students. These folks tirelessly lead efforts in support of arts education.  

Are you interested in becoming a statewide MAEIA partner? Here are some of our considerations: Are you part of an organization committed to supporting high-quality arts education at local, state, regional, and national levels? Are you interested in working alongside forward-thinking arts ambassadors promoting innovation in arts education? If so, I’d like to share more with you. Please contact me at barb.whitney.artist@gmail.com 

Barb Whitney serves as MAEIA Event Co-developer, Advocacy Consultant, and MAEIA Partner/Advisory Council Liaison. She enjoys bringing together arts education champions to cultivate a shared vision for Michigan. Her extensive professional experiences include serving as an educator, administrator, visual artist, researcher, advocate, and executive leader.

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